Constructivism, Christian Reus-Smit and the Moral Purpose of the State

  •  Fakhreddin Soltani    
  •  Jayum A Jawan    
  •  Zaid B Ahmad    


Sophists and Socratics are two main thinkers on how to understand reality and acquire knowledge. Constructivism can be understood as the Socratic approach which has been carried to international relations sphere by thinkers such as Onuf, Kratochwil, Finnmore, Katzenstein, Hopf, Wendt, Reus-Smit and others. Constructivism, as the theory of international relations, is to redefine central themes such as anarchy, balance of power, relationship between state identity and interest, and possibility of change in the mainstream international relations theories. The purpose of this article, after a brief explanation of constructivism as theory of international relations, its ontology and epistemology, is to explain the ideas of Christian Reus-Smit, especially in his most well-known work “The Moral Purpose of the State”.

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